Ask a Dietician #5

Ask a Dietician #5

Hello boot camp family! We are wrapping up our Ask a Dietitian series with a two-for-one post. We’ll jump right in. Here are the inquiries we received:

  • I love roasted veggies. On the grill and in the oven. But you have to oil them up to get that roast. What is your take on the air fryer? It’s supposed to roast with very little oil.
  • How about some information around “what is inflammation and what role does diet play?”

Two great questions! Let’s talk about an air fryer first. 

  • A great, but not magical, appliance. Air fryers cook and crisp foods using hot circulating air. Sounds like what an oven does, right? True. However, the space inside of an air fryer is smaller than an oven, so you can expect cook time to be decreased. With that being said, the volume of food you’re cooking in an air fryer will probably be less than what you can pop into the oven. Small batches to avoid overcrowding in your air fryer is important for effective crisp.
  • You’re correct about it roasting with little to no oil. That’s definitely the biggest selling point for an air fryer. Olive oil, avocado oil, and other oils are healthy fats that have a place in our diets and are beneficial for brain health and more. However, substituting the deep frying cooking method drastically reduces saturated fat and total calories of many favorite foods. So that’s a win.
  • It’s still important to consider what you’re air frying. The air fryer will crisp basically whatever you put in there, so aim for veggies, sweet potatoes, or lean meats. Keep in mind that many pre-breaded frozen food options will probably have less than desirable nutrition facts labels, so making your own fries and breaded veggies, etc. is preferable. 
  • To stay mindful about your nutrition, there are also several desserts that can be made in your air fryer that would at least remove the deep frying portion of the preparation. That’s kind of cool because frequency and portion size considerations allow us to have a balanced approach to enjoying the food we fuel our body with if your medical history allows.

Our second question seeks information about inflammation in our body and its relationship with our diet. I think this is an awesome question that is relevant for every age and stage of life. I think the Mayo Clinic explains this very well and provides insight regarding the role of nutrition in an article here

Please reply and let us know if you have any lingering questions or want more explanation and resources about a particular question.


By Victoria Emmitt RD

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